Skip to main content

Inter-County & Inter-City Representative Matches

Co. Antrim & District FA
In the early days of organised football in Ireland a County Antrim select could be regarded as almost as strong as any potential Irish international XI that could be fielded. Indeed, when a Canadian touring side visited these shores in 1888 it was the Co. Antrim FA that hosted them. As with the inter-provincial matches of the same era, the matches in the 19th century were often used as international trials.

Over the years the Co. Antrim & District FA (the boundaries were stretched to include all of Belfast in 1896) have fielded sides against county teams from across Ireland and Britain as well as other representative selections.

In the early days of football there was also a strong hold of the kicking game in the area controlled by the County Londonderry FA (now the North West FA), where a number of teams made an impact on national competitions. Hence, it was a Co. Derry XI that proved the Co. Antrim's most regular opponent in those formative years, a regular series of Boxing Day matches commencing in 1884.

Also listed below are inter-city matches. More research is required to decide whether these fit into this category, or a category of their own.

Incomplete list

3 April 1879 (details)
Ulster Cricket Grounds, Ballynafeigh, Belfast (att: "vast number")
Belfast: J. Watson; H. Davis, J.M. Mack; R.M. Sloan, W.A. Glass; W.T. Herron, W. Jackson, J. Henderson, R. Hughes, J.A. MacDonald, A. Murray.
Reserve: R.M.Potts
Glasgow: C. Cree; O. Buck, J. Archer; S. Broadfoot capt, W. Patterson; F. Archer, J. Macgregor, J. Macpherson, J. Cree, D. Dewar, M. Broadfoot

28 January 1882
Cliftonville, Belfast (att: "large assemblage")
AYRSHIRE ASSOCIATION (4) 12 (Goldie (5), Johnston (3), Currie (2), Goodall, Thomson)
Belfast: W. Bryan (Avoniel); W. Crone (Distillery), J.W. Chapman (Knock); J.W. Orr (Queen's Island), D. Martin (Cliftonville); A. "Fox" capt (Knock), J. Bell (Queen's Island), W.B.R. McWha (Knock), J.R. Davison (Cliftonville), A.H. Dill (Knock), W.G. Andrew (Avoniel)
Ayrshire: J. Richmond (Kilmarnock, Portland); H. Wilson (Mauchline), W. Galt (Kilmarnock Athletic); J. McGhee (Lugar Boswell), J. Smith (Kilmarnock Athletic); M. Goldie (Lugar Boswell), Q. Johnston (Kilmarnock Athletic), J. Goodall (Kilmarnock Athletic), J. Crawford (Kilmarnock), S. Thomson (Lugar Boswell), D. Currie (Lanemark)
The largest scoreline ever recorded in a game in Belfast up to this date.
Ayrshire's John Goodall was elder brother of Archie Goodall who was capped ten times by Ireland between 1899-1904.

26 December 1882
Ulster Grounds, Ballynafeigh, Belfast
Co. DOWN (1) 1 (Jackson)
Co. ANTRIM (0) 1 (Kerr)
CD: H.J. McCracken (Ulster); D. Rattray (Avoniel), J. Watson (Ulster); J.W. Orr (Queen's Island), J. Taylor (Queen's Island); T. Stewart (Queen's Island), W. Jackson (Ulster), J. Macmillan (Queen's Island), S. Sinclair (Down Athletic), J. Waring (Ulster), W.G. Andrew (Ulster)
CA: R.J. Houston (Cliftonville); H.M. Hull (Cliftonville), W. Crone (Distillery); D.C. Martin (Cliftonville), W. King (Wellington Park); S. Johnston (Distillery), F. Browne (Cliftonville), W.B.R. McWha (Cliftonville), J.R. Davison (Cliftonville), W. Kerr (Oldpark), E.A. Spiller (Cliftonville)

1 January 1883 or 1 May 1883
Belfast: (announced) H.J. McCracken (Ulster) [sub: R.J. Houston (Cliftonville)]; H.M. Hull (Cliftonville), D. Rattray (Avoniel) [sub: W. Crone (Distillery)]; D.C. Martin (Cliftonville), J. Watson capt (Ulster) [sub: W. King (Wellington Park)]; S. Johnston (Distillery), R.M. Potts (Cliftonville) [subs: F. Browne (Cliftonville)]; W.B.R. McWha (Cliftonville), J.R. Davison (Cliftonville) [subs: J. Reid (Ulster), S. Sinclair (Down Athletic)], A.H. Dill (Down Athletic), E.A. Spiller [subs: W. Kerr (Oldpark), W.G. Andrews (Ulster)]
No match result of report found.

26 December 1883
Ulster Grounds, Ballynafeigh, Belfast (att: "larger than usual")
Co. ANTRIM (4) 6
Co. DOWN (0) 0
CA: (announced) Hunter; Crone, Brown; Molyneux, King; Stewart, Spiller, J.T. Gibb, Johnston, Davison, Elleman (team included representatives from Cliftonville, Distillery and Wellington Park)
CD: (announced) Clenias; Siko, Gouk; Bell, Gilmore; John McMillan, G. Magee, James McMillan, Taylor, Dill, A.N. Other (team chiefly composed of players from Queen's Island and Down Athletic)
Refs: Wilson (Distillery), Drummond (Queen's Island), J. Baxter (Oldpark)

26 December 1884
Ulster Ground, Ballynafeigh, Belfast
Co. ANTRIM (0) 2 (Magee, Browne)
Co. DERRY (2) 2 (McLernon, M. Redmond)
CA: R. McCarroll (Wellington Park); J.T. Gibb (Wellington Park), W. Johnston (Oldpark); W. King (Wellington PArk), T. Molyneux (Cliftonville); F.W. Browne, R. Redmond (Cliftonville), W.B.R. McWha, J.R. Davison capt (Cliftonville), A.H. Dill (Cliftonville), G. Magee (Wellington Park)
CD: Montgomery (Kilrea); G. Hewison capt (Moyola Park), R.J. Sherrard (Limavady); R.J. Houston, F.J. McLernon (Moyola Park); M.B. Redmond (Moyola Park), T. McLean (Limavady), A. Gaussen, P. Sloan (Moyola Park), J. McKenna (Moyola Park), Allen (Limavady)
J. Rankin (Limavady) and J. McConnell were originally selected for Derry, their places going to McCarroll and Allen.

26 December 1885
Ulster Ground, Ballynafeigh, Belfast (att: "large crowd")
The COUNTIES (0) 0
Belfast: (announced) Nugent (Oldpark); Johnston (Oldpark), R. Wilson (Distillery); Osborne (YMCA), Crone (Distillery), Stewart (Distillery), R. Wilson (Oldpark), Porteous, S. Johnston, McClatchey (Distillery), Adair (YMCA)
Counties: (announced) S. Gillespie (Hertford); O. Devine (Limavady), G. Hewison (Moyola Park); Houston (Moyola Park), Allen (Limavady); Morrow, Maitland (Magherafelt), Redmond, Sloan (Moyola Park), Rainey, Smyth (Kilrea)
For Belfast, McCartney came into the team.
Changes to the Counties team that took the field included Cartright at half-back and McVicter in the forward line.
Belfast played in white and the county players in their respective club colours


27 December 1887
Ulster Ground, Ballynafeigh, Belfast
CA: (announced) Gordon; Christian, Connor; W. Crone, Rosbottom, Cooke; J. Torrans, Stanfield, Barry, Lennon, Peyden
CF: (announced) Moone; Devine, Sherrard; Forbes, Allen, Stewart; Sherrard, Gaussen, Rainey, Wilson, Brown

1 September 1888 (details)
Shaftesbury Grounds, Belfast (att: 1,000)
Co. ANTRIM (2) 2 (Peden 18, Gibb 43)
CANADA (2) 6 ("scrimmage", Kraus, Webster, Thompson 3)
CA: J. Clugston (Cliftonville); F. Browne (Cliftonville), R. Wilson (Cliftonville); J. Williamson (Cliftonville), J. Christian (Linfield), S. Baird (Oldpark); O.M. Stanfield (Distillery), S. Torrans (Linfield), J. Barry (Cliftonville), J.T. Gibb (Cliftonville), J. Peden (Linfield)
Ref: William McCrum (Armagh); Umpires: Heaney (Antrim) & Bingham (Canada)

26 December 1888
Cliftonville, Belfast (att: "very large")
Co. ANTRIM (2) 4 (Lemon (3), Peyden)
Co. DERRY (0) 4 (Forbes, Joe Sherrard (2), "scrimmage")
CA: Clugston; Williamson, Morrison; McKeown, Rosbotham, Cooke; Peyden, Lemon, Small, Gibb, Johnston
CD: Rankin; Sherrard, Coulter; Stewart, Christian, Gault; Gaussen, Joseph Sherrard, N.M. Brown, Lynd, Forbes

26 December 1889
Ulsterville, Belfast (att: "very large")
Co. ANTRIM (2) 2 (Barry, Gaffikin)
Co. DERRY (2) 3 (Allan, Stewart, Brown)
CA: Clugston (Cliftonville); Close (Linfield), Irvine (Cliftonville); Thompson (Belfast Athletics), Crawford, Cooke (Cliftonville); Swann (Gordon Highlanders), Gaffikin (Linfield), Peden, Torrans (Linfield), Barry (Cliftonville)
CD: Gault (Limavady); Mat Douglas (Limavady), Stewart (St Columb's); Harvey (St Columb's), Allan (Limavady), Bob Douglas (Limavady); Johnston (Linfield), Dogherty (Linfield), Wilton, Stewart (St Columb's), Brown (Limavady)
Ref: W.J. Morrow; Umpires: Finlay (IFA) & McCrum (Portrush)

7 April 1890
CA: (announced) Gordon (Linfield); H. McKeown (North End Athletics), Buchanan (Gordons); Morrison (Linfield), Milne (Gordons), J. McKeown (North End Athletics); Dalton (Linfield), Hill (Black Watch), Peden, S. Torrans (Linfield), Hall (Gordons)
No match report or result found.
Gaffikin may have played for Co. Antrim based on a later match preview.

26 December 1890
Solitude, Belfast (att: "rather small")
Co. ANTRIM (4) 5 (Stevenson (2), Halliday (2), Ferris, McMeechan) [one scorer too many]
Co. DERRY (1) 2 (J. Sherrard, Wilton)
CA: Loyal (Clarence); Browne (Cliftonville), Ramsey (Clarence); Crawford (Cliftonville), Small (Cliftonville), Bambrick (Clarence); Ferris (Milltown), McCann (Milltown), Halliday (Clarence), McMeechan (Clarence), Stevenson (Clarence)
CD: Gault (Limavady); Douglas (Limavady), Eagleson (St Columb's Court); Douglas (Limavady), Millar (St Columb's), Stewart (St Columb's Hall); Joe Sherrard (Limavady), W. Sherrard (Limavady), Stewart (St. Columb's), McClelland (St. Columb's), Wilton (St Columb's)

26 December 1891
Solitude, Belfast (att: "fair gate")
Co. ANTRIM (2) 4 (Fletcher (2), Thornton, Carr)
Co. DERRY (2) 4 (W. Wilton, J.M. Wilton (2), McClelland)
CA: Clugston (Cliftonville); R.K. Stewart (Cliftonville), Southworth (Fusiliers); Knight (Fusliers), D. Brown (Cliftonville), S. Cooke (YMCA); Carr (Fusiliers), Molyneaux (Ligoniel), Fletcher (Fusiliers), Thornton (Fusiliers), King (Ligoniel)
CD: Gault (Limavady); Mat Douglas (Limavady), Eagleson (St Columb's Court); R. Douglas (Limavady), R. Wilton (St Columb's Court), T. Molyneaux; W. Wilton, D. Wilton, J.M. Wilton, McClelland, E. Bruce (St Columb's Court)
Ref: W. Morrow

27 December 1892 (ninth annual encounter)
Solitude, Belfast (att: "large crowd")
Co. ANTRIM (0) 0
Co. DERRY (0) 3 (Sherrard, Wilton, N. Brown) [uncertain]
CA: Clugston (Cliftonville); Thompson (Cliftonville), Taylor, Thompson (Distillery), Farrell (Ligoniel), Crawford (Cliftonville), Small (Cliftonville), Anderson (Cliftonville), Calvey (Distillery), ,King (Ligoniel), Percy (Cliftonville)
CD: Gault (Limavady); Mat Douglas (Limavady), Eagleson (St Columb's Court); McCaughey (Limavady), Miller, R. Wilton  (St Columb's Court); D. Wilton, W. Wilton, J.M. Wilton, Wm Sherrard, Nat Brown (Derry Olympic)
Match played in heavy mist.

26 December 1893
Solitude, Belfast
CA: (announced) Bleakely (Celtic); Brown (Distillery), Thompson (Cliftonville); McConville (Milltown), Farrel (Ligoniel), Burnett (Distillery); Breen (Celtic), Gee (Barn), Stanfield (Distillery), Gibson, Barron (Cliftonville)
CD: (announced) Boyle (Bright Stars); Forbes (St Columb's Court), Owens (Celtic); McMichael (St Columb's), McAdams (Celtic), Patterson (North End); McLaughlin (Bright Stars), W. Sherrard (Limavady), J.M. Wilton (North End), R. McClelland (St Columb's), Lynch (Celtic)
Match cancelled at short notice as the North West FA could not raise an eleven, a fact only communicated to the crowd when they were already in the ground.

9 March 1895
Solitude, Belfast (att: "a couple of thousand")
Co. ANTRIM (1) 2 (McLaughlin, King)
Co. DUBLIN (1) 1 (Keogh)
CA: Scott (Cliftonville); Cochrane (Milltown), Forbes (Distillery); Ponsonby (Distillery), Farrell (Celtic), Campbell (Cliftonville); McLoughlin (Milltown), Baird (Cliftonville), Bruce (Distillery), King (Ligoniel), Devlin (Milltown)
CD: Fielding (University); Scott (University), D. Murrough (Nomads); Pim (University), Gillespie (Nomads), Crozier (University); Dobbs (University) [or G. Sheehan (Bohemians)], Scroope (University), F. Crozier (University) [or Blaney (Bohemians)], Keogh (Nomads), Calwell (University) [or G. Sheehan (Bohemians)]
Ref: James Torrans
The Co. Dublin team was retrospectively renamed Leinster by some sources.
This match was played on the same day as Ireland faced England in Derby, hence the selections were weaker than might otherwise have been expected.

4 January 1902
1905 Derry shirt badge
(Inter-City Match)
Celtic Park, Londonderry (att: "large crowd")
DERRY (3) 6 (Donaghy, McGinnis, Lynch (pen), ??, ??, ??)
BELFAST (1) 1 (Parsons)
Derry: J. Glenn (Celtic); J. McCourt capt (Celtic), C. Glenn (Celtic); McGahie (Court), Gallagher (Celtic), Kennedy (Court); Goodman (Court), McGinnis (Celtic), Ward (Celtic), Donaghey, C. Lynch (Celtic)
Belfast: Andrews (Distillery); McCracken capt (Distillery), Ponsonby (Distillery); Nicholl (Celtic), Parsons (Distillery), Wattie (Glentoran); Cairns (Distillery), Doherty (Celtic), McIlvenny (Ulster), Dornan (Celtic), Alf Kearns (Distillery)
Ref: J.M. Wilton
Kearns replaced Johnston (Glentoran) from the originally selected Belfast XI.
Belfast were without the services of Linfield and Cliftonville players as they played a benefit match for Sam Torrans on the same day at Solitude.

(Inter-City Match)
Celtic Park, Belfast
BELFAST (3) 6 (Maxwell (2, 1 pen), McKelvey (2), Doherty (pen), Kirkwood (Pen))
DERRY (0) 1 (Ward)
Belfast: Scott (Linfield); McCracken (Distillery), Clay (Belfast Celtic), Darling (Linfield), Connor (Glentoran), Soye (Belfast Celtic), Campbell (Cliftonville), Maxwell (Linfield), McKelvey (Glentoran), Kirkwood (Ulster), Doherty (Belfast Celtic)
Derry: J. Glenn (Derry Celtic); J. McCourt (Derry Celtic), Glenn (Derry Celtic), Blayney (Celtic), Mooney (North End), McIntyre (Derry Celtic), Douglas (South End), Goodman (Derry Celtic), Ward (Derry Celtic), McClure (North End), McGinley (Derry Celtic)
Ref: James Torrans; Linesmen: H.S. Wilson (Derry) & A. McDermott (Belfast)
Lynch and McGahey of the originally selected Derry XI did not travel and their places went to Douglas and McIntyre.
Belfast wore white with a red hand and Derry wore green.

No Derry v. Belfast fixture in 1903/04 

11 March 1905
(Inter-City Match)
Brandywell, Londonderry (att: "not too satisfactory")
DERRY (0) 0
BELFAST (2) 4 (Young, Jones, Soye, Blair)
Derry: Emery (Church Lads' Brigade/City Press); Dan O'Kane (Inniskilling Fusiliers), Bailey (Inniskilling Fusiliers); Magee (Inniskilling Fusiliers), Jamie Doherty capt (Hibernians/City Press), J. Shiels (Hibernians/Leviathans); Dickson (Inniskilling Fusiliers), Salmon, McClurg (Inniskilling Fusilers), Dannie Gallagher (Hibernians/Tailors), T. McClelland (Glenview)
Belfast: McKee (Cliftonville); Seymour (Cliftonville), Pinkerton (Belfast Celtic); McConnell (Glentoran), Bob Milne capt (Linfield), Wright (Cliftonville); Blair, Robertson (Cliftonville), Jones (Linfield), Soye (Belfast Celtic), Young (Linfield)
Ref: J.M. Wilton; Linesmen: Irvine (Cliftonville) & Sgt Waugh
The match was organised in conjunction with the Derry Trades & Warehouse League, hence the way in which some of the players' clubs are listed.
Belfast were denied the services of any Distillery players as the match coincided with their meeting with Shelbourne in the Irish Cup final.
Derry could not select players affiliated to Derry Celtic as they were not members of the North West FA.
Belfast wore white and Derry wore red.

17 March 1905
(Inter-City Match)
Sandymount, Dublin (att: "a few hundred"/"wretched")
DUBLIN (2) 2 (Woodward, Meldon)
DERRY (0) 0
Dublin: Kirk (Tritonville); Wilson (Tritonville), McGrath (Bellvue), Ampleford (Botanic), Hayes (Richmond Rovers), Crozier (Freebooters), Murphy (Tritonville),  Martin (Tritonville), Merrigan (Richmond Rovers), Woodward (Rifles), Meldon (Freebooters)
Derry: (announced) Emery (Church Lads' Brigade/City Press); Dan O'Kane (Inniskilling Fusiliers), Neely (Glenview); Magee (Inniskilling Fusiliers), Jamie Doherty (Hibernians/City Press), J. Shiels (Hibernians/Leviathans); Dickson (Inniskilling Fusiliers), Nash (Inniskilling Fusiliers), McClurg (Inniskilling Fusilers), Dannie Gallagher (Hibernians/Tailors), T. McClelland (Glenview)
Ref: Sgt Attwell (Cameron Highlanders)
Martin took the place of H. O'Reilly who was listed in the original Dublin XI
Nash replaced Hope (Enniskillen Celtic) from the originally selected Derry side.
The Dublin side is alternatively listed as Leinster in some sources.

14 October 1953 (details)
Solitude, Belfast
Co. ANTRIM 1 (Walker)
CA: W. Smyth (Distillery); R. Keith (Linfield), T. Hamill (Ards), W. Neill (Glentoran), J. Vernon (Crusaders), Clarke (Crusaders), Lowry (Glentoran), Ewing (Glentoran), John Walker (Linfield), Thomson (Ards), Tully (Crusaders)
Ref: T.J. Mitchell (Lurgan)

21 October 1958 (details)
Hillsborough, Sheffield
SHEFFIELD & HALLAMSHIRE 6 (Shiner (3), Wilkinson (2), McAnearney
Co. ANTRIM 2 (Calderwood, Shiels)
CA: Moffatt (Ards); Lucas (Glentoran), Graham (Linfield), Neill (Glentoran), Forde (Ards), Orr (Dstillery), Weatherup (Crusaders), Bruce (Glentoran), Shiels (Distillery), Parke (Linfield), Calderwood (Glentoran)

20 October 1959 (details)
Windsor Park, Belfast (att: 6,000)
Co. ANTRIM 5 (Welsh (2), Boyd (2), Bruce)
SHEFFIELD & HALLAMSHIRE 3 (Barber, Hamilton, Gilliland (og))
CA: Milligan (Cliftonville); Gilliland (Linfield), Parke (Linfield), J. Kennedy (Distillery), Campbell (Crusaders), Gough (Linfield), R. Welsh (Linfield), Dickson capt (Linfield), Boyd (Ards)

10 May 1988 (details)
Windsor Park, Belfast
Co. ANTRIM 2 (McGaughey (2)
MID-ULSTER/NORTH-WEST SELECT 6 (Millar (3), Wade, McLaughlin, Keenan)
CA: Dunlop (Linfield); Huston (Larne), Mooney (Linfield), Devine (Glentoran), Spiers (Linfield), Morrison (Glentoran), Doherty (Linfield), Caskey (Glentoran), McGaughey (Linfield), McCartney (Glentoran), Jameson (Glentoran)
Subs: Hillis (Glentoran), Conville (Ballymena Unite), Knell (Linfield)
MU/NW: Keenan (Portadown); McCullough (Coleraine), Burns (Newry Town), Davidson (Portadown), Byrne (Glenavon), Lowry (Glenavon), Wade (Coleraine), O'Neill (Portadown), Millar (Portadown), McBride (Glenavon), Ralph (Newry Town)
Subs: Gray (Newry Town), McDowell (Coleraine), McLaughlin (Glenavon)


Player Index A - B - C - D - F - G - H - I - L - Mc - M - N - O - Q - R - S - T - Z